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The December solstice can be on December 20, 21, 22, or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of winter is the shortest and darkest day of the year. This day is known as the winter solstice.
The winter solstice time is a gradual return of light. For people in general, and for those committed to yoga in particular, the winter solstice is the time to find the inner light to strengthen their intentions for the coming year.
Find Your Inner Light
During the Christmas season:
- Be at peace with yourself, in tune with nature, and in harmony with life.
- Keep your heart open in compassion without judgment. The secret to longevity is to keep a quiet heart and a love feeling.
- Breathe: Use your breath to calm or energize yourself as needed.
- Celebrate winter.
- Commit to a regular yoga practice or fitness routine.
- Compassion: See how it feels to have a deep awareness of the suffering of another person, and the wish to help relieve it.
- Devotion to something else: Nurture a habit, a hobby, or a way of thinking that uplifts you and others.
- Digital detox: Cut back on-screen time. Give your loved ones the attention they need. Turn off your phone, tablet, laptop, computer, and other electronic gadgets, and relax.
- Duality: Let inner joy fill you despite a desolate world outside for those living in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Forgiveness: Surrender to the spirit of tolerance and understanding.
- Gratitude: Your sense of thankfulness and happiness when you receive a gift, either something of value given by someone or a fortunate event.
- Harmony: Design your life from now on with unity and harmony in mind.
- Healing: Let your lifestyle and choices be conducive to good health. May those who are ill or heartbroken recover their health, their strength, and their love of life.
- Heart-Centered and Love: Be in a state of peace where your life choices line up with your values and your deepest life-enhancing desires.
- Laugh: It is scientifically proven that laughter is the best medicine. Yoga for Laughter classes are popping in many places.
- Mindfulness: Practice oberving the events of any situation you find yourself in without judging it as good or bad.
- Open-Mindedness: Listen without prejudice to the views and opinions of others.
- Reflection: Take a few minutes each day to assess your feelings and explore your inner world. Let yourself feel joy and let joy permeate your whole being.
- Space: Respect the need of others for personal space and honor your own need for space. Personal space is a physical space surrounding you that includes the area where you feel safe.
- Stillness: Take time to sit still and let your mind feel the quietness and serenity of the season.
- Unchain yourself: Let go of worries, emotional suffering, and psychological holding.
Yoga Poses Fit for Christmas
The physical aspect of yoga, asanas or poses, aims to free our joints and targets different muscle groups to improve their functioning.
Many poses got their names from observing the behavior of animals like the downward dog, cat, cow, camel, and lion, or were named after sacred geometric figures like the Triangle, or legendary heroes like Matsya.
But some yoga poses have names that we can connect to Christmas such as:
- The Five-Pointed Star pose shining like the Star of Bethlehem.
- The Tree pose like a Christmas tree with sparkling lights.
- The Dancer’s pose like dancing to the stars in the moonlight.
- The Chair pose like a flickering candle sitting on the sill.
To Soothe the Holiday Stress
Try one or more of these poses to soothe the holiday feeling of stress:
- Savasana or Corpse pose
- Legs Up The Wall: lie on your back on a blanket or your yoga mat and rest your legs on the wall or the edge of a bed. Let your attention be on your breathing and enjoy feeling relaxed and free from pain.
- Meditate: sit comfortably and make sure that no one will disturb you for ten to fifteen minutes. Close your eyes and let your attention on your breathing noticing the inhalation and exhalation.
- Breathe deeply and fully to reinvigorate yourself. Notice how your body fills with energy.
Marriage of Your Heart and Brain
Gregg Braden —best-selling author, scientist, and international educator— teaches the Wisdom of the Heart technique that he learned from Tibetan monks. Practicing this technique takes three minutes to create a state of mind that will last you for a few hours. You can do this anytime, in the morning when you wake up, in bed at night, or anytime you have three to five minutes for yourself.
This is the marriage of your heart and brain in three steps:
- Sit quietly and shift your awareness from your mind to your heart. Gently touch your heart center in a comfortable way.
- Slow your breathing by inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds. This tells your body that you are in a safe place.
- Begin to feel the feeling that creates coherence between your heart and your brain by mentally repeating to yourself these four keywords: Appreciation, Gratitude, Care, Compassion.
May this festive season bring you, your family, and your loved ones joy and good health!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Liliane Najm